Tag Archives: DVD

Day 9

24 May

Last week I was searching through Craig’s List to find anyone in need of a healthy living/fitness and wellness blogger and came across a few that I sent my resume to. Not really expecting anything in return, I received an email from one of the ladies yesterday about blogging for a lingerie store! Now, I don’t know the first thing about¬†lingerie but I do know how to get and stay fit, dress for your body type, and exude confidence, regardless of what you’re wearing-or not ūüėČ. We spoke on the phone and it seems like a perfect fit! She was looking for a blogger who could post once a week about health/fitness/wellness with it all relating back to lingerie; exercises, healthy recipes, how to dress for your body type, and learning to be confident in oneself are all things that I feel qualified to blog about. I start next Monday and will post every week about a new topic regarding fitness and lingerie; check her website out!

I would really appreciate it if the sun would grace NC with its presence! Seeing the sun through my window makes waking up at 6:30am so much better. But so does knowing I’m training my one and only client! ¬†I had an early morning PT session that took place at my old stomping grounds; always nice to go back and visit, however, I had to clean out my office area which left a bitter taste in my mouth :(. So many memories with great people there!

A bowl of overnight oats with cookie butter was awaiting me back at home! Apple on the side for a little crunch with a hot cup of coffee is the recipe for a kick-start kind-of morning. I was at work by 9:30am, working away on my seminar. I’m really enjoying learning how exercise can help lessen stressful situations; it amazes me what the body is capable of and how quickly stress can become a problem.

I attended Pilates today and really reaped the benefits of core strength, body awareness, and flexibility. By really I mean- my mother and I have a tape (yes, a VHS tape) of a Pilates routine that we do at home, so I felt pretty confident that I knew the exercises coming into class. I’m not saying the tape wasn’t Pilates but being in the actual class and having the instructor explain what we should be feeling and where and staring at me so I get in the correct position made the workout much harder! I’m all for workout DVDs¬†but being in the setting with an instructor who has more time to explain the poses helps me focus more (since mind/body formats aren’t my strong suit). My favorite Pilates move is the teaser-so challenging! It’s not only a physical challenge, but a mental challenge as well to stay in that position for even a second; all of the participants in the class tried the third level and held it for 5 breaths-woo!

I also attended Pool Plyometrics after Pilates. I successfully reached my goal for the week to make it to one aqua class and even managed to keep my hair dry (SCORE!)! Pool plyometrics is meant for the more-advanced participant because it still requires jumping, bounding, lateral movements, coordination, and over-all strength, but has less of an impact on joints compared to plyometrics on land. The instructor taught on land but gave us a visual of what each exercise looked like; she broke the workout into 3 segments of 4 exercises. We did each exercise for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of complete stillness (try that in water..) Some of the exercises included tuck jumps, front kicks, split squat jumps, flutter kicks, and hamstring curls-very creative! I may convert into an yogiaqui ūüėČ

Not only was I completely out of my element in the pool, but also wearing a bikini (DON’T JUDGE!, I just picture a few of you shaking your head..). I don’t own a one-piece! I wore the most conservative two-piece I own and tried to make it work. Let me tell you-remember the jumping and bounding I mentioned earlier? Yeah, imagine doing those movements, in a pool, while the water is pulling everything south, and you’re trying to keep everything covered. It.doesn’t.work.in.your.favor. I honestly feel bad for anyone wearing goggles who accidentally peeked over under the water because they definitely got a glimpse of my bootay! You live and you learn. I guess it’s a good enough excuse to go to Dick’s and buy a bathing suit?

After both workouts, I was more than ready for lunch- a turkey, avocado, mushroom, tomato, sprouts, and mustard sandwich between 2 slices of too-burnt bread, a side of ginormous grapes, and a travel-sized pack of pistachio’s was waiting to get in my belly!¬†¬†Have you seen the travel-sized bags of pistachio’s at your grocery store? Perfectly portioned and great for grabbing them on the go; love the portability! Pistachio’s are one of the lowest fat, lowest calorie, and highest fiber nuts AND they offer more nuts in a serving compared to others-another fourtwo-fer!


Get Ripped! to the Core Review

10 Mar

A functional workout that hits every muscle group in under 50 minutes? Where do I sign up!?

Yes, another Get Ripped DVD review; I truly think these are the BEST workout DVDs for at-home exercisers! No matter how tight your workout space is, you can set up an at-home gym on any budget! I’ve taken the guess-work out for you when it comes to selecting equipment to invest in:

  1. a yoga and/or exercise mat. select one that’s slip-resistant (i use a gaiam yoga mat). great for core exercises, yoga/Pilates, push-ups, etc.
  2. a step and/or bench (thankfully my mother had one when she participated in step aerobics back in the day!) can be used for chest press/fly exercises, triceps dips, rows, incline/decline planks & so-on. sporting goods stores have a wide variety of these; choose one that when you lie down, your entire back is supported (neutral alignment)
  3. dumbbells. when you’re first creating your home-gym, look for dumbbells that come in bundles; usually 3,5,8 lbs. since you pay by weight, this will be cheaper. 3,5,8 lbs. are appropriate weights for toning and endurance-based exercises.
  4. resistance bands & tubing. similar to dumbbells, you can purchase these in bundles; light, medium, and heavy levels are available. great for travelers since they pack well.
  5. stability ball. replace your desk chair and you can work your core indirectly (another two-fer!). keep in mind* when you’re choosing a stability ball, choose one based on your height: 4’8″-5’5″=45cm. 5’6″-6’=55cm. 6′-6’5″=65cm. this will ensure you have a 90degree angle from hips-knees-ankles.

There are plenty of other tools you can purchase, but like muscles, building a home gym doesn’t happen overnight. Start with the bare essentials; as both you and your muscles get stronger, invest in more equipment! Search websites like craigslist and Ebay for slightly-used equipment.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for..let’s review!

RED FLAG-This workout does not include a warm-up. I have not a clue as to why, but it goes from the main menu into the first track. A major no-no.

  1. Side Squats & Reverse Lunges. Probs my favorite track on the DVD; using your body-weight or dumbbells as resistance, you complete 2 side squats then 6 reverse lunges/side. A toning exercise while increasing your heart-rate.
  2. Up,Up,Down,Down Push-ups. Plank position, down to forearms then back up to push-up position. Intermixed with regular push-ups.
  3. Chest Press & Glute Bridge.
  4. Dead Lifts & Biceps Curls.
  5. Plie Squats & Upright Rows.
  6. Single-leg Bent-over Rows
  7. Elevated Side Squat & Lateral Raise (calorie burner & heart rate lifter!)
  8. Step-ups & Overhead Press
  9. Glute Extension & Triceps Kickback
  10. Abs

Rating: B+. The no warm-up¬†frustrates¬†me, not only because it’s just plain safe to incorporate a warm-up before exercising but also to motivate me. If I’m feeling like I need a kick-in-the-pants to get me moving, I can usually count on the warm-up to do just that.

Extremely Ripped DVD Review

20 Dec

“Can we do 1 more? Yeah, let’s do 1 more” says Jari Love.

“Oh no..”¬†moans Mom as she’s sprawled out on the yoga mat during our workout session (moms say the darndest things ūüôā ).

If you’ve read the “About Me” section of my blog, you already know that I began exercising doing various DVDs downstairs in¬†my family’s¬†home gym. My mother and I would carve out 1 hour each day to devote to a favorite(?) DVD and sweat it out together! I owe a lot of my in-the-beginning-successes to Jari Love, a renowned Canadian fitness professional and creator of the Get Ripped series. These DVDs are no joke! They challenge your body in many ways than just physically; physiologically by a more efficient way of using oxygen and increasing energy, mentally pushing you through each set and emotionally encouraging you to finish strong.

This series of reviews will breakdown not only your muscle fibers but also each Get Ripped DVD. To start, Extremely Ripped:

As my mom and I like to call it..a “two-fer”; a two-for-one DVD offering two-30 minute total body workouts and a six-minute abs segment that challenges your cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular endurance. Each “chapter” has a 30-seconds¬†remaining timer to encourage you the end is near-me likey. Starting with a brief¬†five-minute warm-up, Jari encourages using light weight to prep your muscles before the actual workout. Squats, reverse lunges and hammer curls, biceps curls, lateral raises, overhead presses and upright rows. Yes all these exercises target the muscles we’ll use in the DVD, but I feel your lower body is neglected a bit; my opinion, but my lower body is always more stiff when I start to exercise so I like to do more compound movements!

The first 30-minute workout starts with reverse lunges on a step (optional) with rows-great exercise to target large muscle groups and get your heart rate up right off the bat! In between sides, you’ll do dead lifts atop the step. Second, pulse squats and biceps curls-use lighter weight here; if you have knee issues, regular squats are a variation. Third, plie pulses and around-the-world shoulder raises (front-side-front)-use lighter weight, especially if your lower back is weaker; overhead presses with a step-knee in between sets. Fourth (least fave because it’s hard!), triceps kickbacks and glute extensions-this exercise seriously gets your heart rate sky-high and thighs a-burnin’! In between sides, you complete side squats with a front raise. Fifth, knee pulses (balance) and reverse lunges atop the step; side squats and lateral raises in between sides-no additional weight is necessary here, especially if your balance is off; work up to using light dumbbells.

The second 30-minute workout starts with clean and presses with traveling lunges and biceps curls in between sets-heavier weights for the clean and presses, but have a lighter set nearby for the lunges and curls. Second, traveling side squats on the step (optional) and an overhead press/knee lift¬†exercise-medium weights works just enough to get your delts trembling! Third, bent-over row combos; you’ll play with your hand position to really target your back muscles with lots of repetitions; narrow squats in between sets. Fourth, reverse flies and a leg abduction-tons of repetitions here so use light weight; if your lower back starts to ache, it’s from the bent-over position with the abductions so either stand up and rest or omit the abductions! Fifth, push-ups and planks need I say more?.

The six-minute abs segment consists of crunches, triceps push-ups, planks, bicycles, single-leg bridges and crossed-leg oblique twists. I’ve done better abs exercises in her other videos, but this is short enough to top-off a tough total body workout!

The verdict? A+! This DVD caters to all;¬†advanced exercisers looking for an hour long-total body session, newbie’s trying out an interval-type workout for the first time¬†or someone looking for a quick¬†but intense workout in between a busy schedule. Extremely Ripped has¬†five other exercisers in the background doing different variations of the exercises, which is why it caters to SO many different levels. Jari’s encouraging words and upbeat music are extra incentives to complete the workout. This DVD is one of those I-hate-to-LOVE workouts! It will push you to challenge yourself and you may hate it while doing it, but after, you’ll feel GREAT and have tons of energy!